Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chalk Landsapes

Things have been pretty busy in the Berry art room lately!  The end of the year seems to always be hectic!  The 5th and 6th graders have completed quite a few projects.

I have been working on my SLO's and trying to pin point what lessons I want to be teach next year and include in my SLO's.  It has been difficult to figure out how to go about this, especially since I am the only teacher in my district that teaches 5th and 6th grade art.  I wanted to be able to compare notes with another art teacher of my grade level so I contacted Drew Thomas, the 5th and 6th grade art teacher in a neighboring district.  We have been able to meet a couple of times and during one of our visits he shared this project with me which I promptly took back to my classroom and tried out with my 6th graders!  I love this project.  The wonderful thing about it is that practically anything goes.  So if a student "makes a mistake" I just tell them to go with it and that there is no such thing as a mistake in this project!  

Chalk Landscapes

First I introduce my students to Robert Duncanson and I explain that he was an African American artist in the 1800's.  During this time period, for an African American to become a successful artist was quite an accomplishment.  He was part of a movement of artists called the Hudson River School, who painted natural landmarks.  I showed the students "Blue Hole, Little Miami" and explained that it is an actual place about 30 minutes from our school and if you hike on a trail you come across this and it looks almost exactly like it did in the painting, painted over 100 years ago!  

I then go on to explain that a successful landscape consists of a background, middle ground and foreground.  The screen that I project on is my whiteboard so I trace over the horizon line in the painting with a dry erase marker.  Then I trace over the line that divides the middle ground and foreground to show the students each individual section of the painting and that this gives the painting depth.
I tell the students that they will be creating a landscape in chalk pastels.  We tear a piece of 9x12" construction paper, horizontally to make the shape of a mountain range.  This will be the horizon line.  then I show the students how to color the torn edge of the paper, place the torn paper on top of the white paper and use a tissue to rub the chalk onto the white paper.  This creates the mountain range that is the farthest away.  The remainder of the landscape is made in this way of rubbing various colors of chalk off of the construction paper onto the white paper.  

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